Israel considering joining Arab League working group

Sunday, April 15, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is expected to tell Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday that Israel is not ruling out the possibility of participating in groups set up by the Arab League working towards endorsing full normalization in a return for a withdrawal to the Green Line, senior sources said.

This would mark the first time Israel and an Arab League body have held diplomatic contacts, but discussions would be limited to Arab League nations that Israel holds diplomatic relations with, including Egypt, Jordan and Qatar.

However, the sources cautioned that Israel had still not received any formal invitation to take part in working group discussions, and the Arab League had not yet set up the group.

The two leaders are expected to discuss the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners, putting an end to Kassam attacks on the Negev and other terror activities, including the strengthening of Hamas. In the meeting, the two leaders are also to decide on the outline for bi-weekly talks between the sides.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni will also participate in Sunday's meeting and will travel to Jordan following a meeting with Abbas slated for Monday and hold talks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdullah al-Khatib.

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